Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cradle” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  2,268 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In 1994, the Marines test a new missile. After launch it mysteriously disappears. If it reaches civilian areas they'll be in big trouble. Carol Dawson, a journalist, is alerted by an unusual sight of whales in the Miami area & decides to write about it.
Armed with equipment provided by her friend, Dr. Dale Michaels from the Miami Oceanographic Institute, she goes to in
Paperback, 408 pages
Published July 1989 by Warner Books (first published 1987)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cradle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cradle

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Brett Jobling
Even 25 years after it was first released, this is a turd that is still steaming. It took me four months to read this drivel (i read about 6 other decent novels in that time). I've read Arthur C Clarke before and i'm a fan - but this atrocity was completely bereft of the vision/prophecy and fascinating SCIENCE that he brings to Sci Fi. So i can only blame Gentry Lee who is credited as 'co-authoring'. Surely ACC only leant his name to boost sales? The plot is inane, the characters ridiculous, the ...more
Felix Dance
This book was totally unbelievable. I don't know what it is with Clarke in the 80s, but he just went psycho with his characters during this period (hard not to blame Lee really - alouthgh they were good in the Rama series). The first two thirds of this overlong novel goes into meaningless detail about the backgrounds of the various characters involved, and they're so formulaic - their personalities are derived from formulae whose only input are 'moving' emotional scenes from their past. It's as ...more
Stephen Gallup
Considering his fame and the number of books he authored, it's surprising that I've had little exposure to Clarke. Like everybody in my generation I saw the film version of 2001 numerous times, and there was another novel of his (the title of which I cannot recall) that was in three parts. The first two parts fascinated me but the last was an utter let-down, seemingly written by someone else. [ Update: Just figured out that other book was by Asimov. ]

Anyway, I decided it was time to sample his w
This is a scifi novel from an author that I normally love. Unfortunately, this book was disappointing. The main plot, involving contact with aliens, was passable but boring. The side plots were ridiculous and unnecessary: adult video games, swinger treasure hunters, and so on. The characters were either two-dimensional or cartoonish. Also, the book seemed to serve as a vehicle for heavy-handed social commentary.
Cradle is a first and unsatisfying collaboration by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee. It is an uninspiring treatment of a well-worn Sci-fi topic: first contact via an underwater oceanic alien hideout. Cradle also introduces readers to the rougher, more promiscuous writing style of Gentry Lee. Clarke has plenty of sexuality in his novels, but he usually spares readers the juicy details.

I would have enjoyed this novel more if Clarke and Lee had taken the story completely to the ocean. The too-brie
Easily one of the worst books I've read in years. Maybe if I read this when it first came out in 1989 and I was 13, I would have found the gratuitous sex scenes titillating. As it was, I found them distracting from what little "plot" there was. The entire book was laced with racism and misogyny. Sure one of the main characters is a woman and one is black, but the authors can't seem to go 5 pages without waving a little flag saying "Hey, we have a main character who is a woman, and one who is bla ...more
I was expecting more, having read the 2001 series, so was very disappointed. Not a very well-written book, reads more like an author's first book than one from an experienced team. The plot was very contrived with convenient coincidences moving the plot along. There was a surprising amount of sexual suggestions in the book, this was completely unnecessary and slowed the book down. There were a number of details and plot lines in the book that were unnecessary, serving only to slow down the pace ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Is this even science fiction? The aliens aren't necessary...swap them out for some ordinary motivating force and the story would be largely unaffected. And when Clarke focuses on the "sci-fi" part of his story, he bores me with unimportant minutia about the design of the alien ship.

I can't believe I read the whole thing. Run away!
E. Newby
Definitely a disappointment. My biggest complaint wasn't the odd-ball mix of elements, it was that nothing resolved. We don't really know what choice the alien rugs made at the end of the book. Also, halfway through the book, the authors spuriously introduce an element that conceivably trumps the events of the story, and then never mention it again.

One of the challenges of scifi is tying grander scoped-epics into a framework that has meaning for the individual players (characters). This story n
Matteo Pellegrini

Un missile top secret che svanisce in volo. Un tridente d'oro che cambia sorprendentemente forma. Una caverna subacquea custodita da balene... Qualcosa si nasconde nel fondo marino al largo di Key West, un mistero in parte umano ma nello stesso tempo terribilmente alieno. Il suo potere è immenso e terrificante e potrebbe distruggere ogni forma di vita sulla Terra. Ma qualcuno ha deciso di scoprire il terribile segreto. E da quel momento non esiste più alcuna certezza, nessun luogo sicuro in cui

Perri Oldfield
Hm, disappointing. I'd wanted to try an Arthur C Clarke novel for a while and I think I should definitely have started with one of his others. I don't really know what this book was trying to be - it presents itself as a science fiction but this really seems to be a side-story, the rest of the book just seemed to waffle on about it's fairly dull cookie-cutter characters and their irrelevant back-stories. Additionally, it was also really sexist and I got quite annoyed at several points. I perseve ...more
Ahogy elnéztem az értékeléseket - csak a csillagozásokat -, ez az a könyv, ami nem nagyon jött be az embereknek. És talán értem is, hogy miért? Mert nem azt várták, amit kaptak. Ugyan, sci-fi kategóriában jelent meg és én is arra a polcra raktam, de nem nevezném igazi sci-finek. Ez a sztori, csupán karcolja a sci-fi határát. És azt is csak ippeghogy. Szóval, necces volt az egész. Ha, mint sci-fit nézem, akkor részemről is egy, azaz 1 csillag és nem több. Viszont. Egy sci-fi szerző, miért ne írha ...more
Chris Hawks

Yesterday (11/02/06) during lunch, I finished my most recent book: Cradle, by Arthur C. Clarke and Genry Lee.

This is same team that wrote the last 3/4 of the Rama series (following Clarke's standalone classic, Rendevous With Rama). Those were good books. Cradle, which was written a couple of years before the Rama sequels, is not.

Not that it's a terribly bad book. I was entertained for almost all of the 408 pages. But I'd never read it again. The book is ba
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Not even mediocre at best. It's a book written by two people, and it shows. The bulk of the book is a boring, typical Crichton-like thriller/adventure story. Woven between -- sometimes in nearly incomprehensible separate chapters, sometimes as jarring asides -- is the actual sci-fi content. Unfortunately, the earth-based sci-fi was written for the future of twenty years ago and it has not aged particularly well, but it may have been better contemporaneously. The alien-based sci-fi is overly deta ...more
This book was incredibly frustrating to read. There's a decent sci-fi story hiding in there, screaming, trying to get out and be read in all its full glory, and the author is just refusing to let it see the light of day. I don't know much about this Gentry Lee guy, but I've read enough Arthur C. Clarke to recognize the parts that he must have come up with, and they're stifled in this plain brown wrapper of a redemption story.

It's not that I don't like a redemption story. They can be well-written
„…Czy znacie miłość i oceany, i góry, i muzykę? I tęsknotę, i samotność, i lęk przed śmiercią?...”

Rok 1993. Carol Dawson reporterka Miami Herald oficjalnie kręci na Florydzie reportaż o dziwnie zachowujących się wielorybach. Olbrzymy bez wyraźnej przyczyny wypływają na brzeg, inne krążą w kółko niedaleko wybrzeża. Kilka dni wcześniej Marynarka Wojenna Stanów Zjednoczonych przeprowadzała na tym samym obszarze testy nowego rodzaju rakiety. Rakiety, która z niewyjaśnionych przyczyn zbacza z kursu
Cian Beirdd
One of Clarke's weaknesses as an author was always character development. He could get into the mind of each one but they never really changed. Rarely would personalities go much beyond the surface. This novel is a huge departure from that. Each of three individuals grow and develop. This is the only story I have ever read of his that was emotionally satisfying.

The technological aspect, Clarke's forte, is good. As he was expert at, he takes a technological development and asks "What if?" He avoi
David Roberts
I am reviewing the novel Cradle by Arthur C Clarke et al which is a very good science fiction story and which I bought from a car boot sale. This story as the title probably suggests is a fictitious account of how life supposedly gets from another planet to Earth and results in the intelligent sea mammals on our planet. It starts with intelligent serpents on the other planet which are in danger of extinction being transported to Earth and these evolve into animals like the whales and dolphins we ...more
Tharindra Kaluthotaarachchi
by far the worst Clark novel. the collaboration with Gentry lee was so damaging that it is evident when you read the first few hundred pages of this book. pages and pages of character details that are not relevant to the development of the plot and so many sex scenes in one book..!! which are not seen in novels Clarke himself has written. this can also be seen in the Rama series where lee has written hundreds of character and social details ( which can fortunately be skipped without having any e ...more
Jamie Kingston
Easily the worst Arthur C Clarke novel.

The characters are unbelievable and the plot is ridiculous - alien beings who can travel galactic distances but require an Encyclopaedia and some Gold in order to leave Earth.

This would have made a good kids book were it not for the pointless (and trust me, I'm not prudish at all) sexual content.
Clayton Yuen
This is a typical well-written book by Arthur C. Clarke (& Gentry Lee) that basically described 3 humans assisting a damaged space ship so that it can resume it's mission. The prose of all Clarke novel are flowing and of excellent literary quality. This novel brings in over a half dozen storylines and combines them into this Good Read.

BUT I give this novel only three stars. AT times, it was drudgery to get through a chapter because Clarke keeps going on and on .... spends way too much time s
I must say that i enjoyed Cradle. The author suggests that endangered life on earth could be saved by an alien presence that travels from planet to planet with cradles containing "seeds" of endangered or missing species of both plant and mammal life. When their ship lands on earth to for repair, a trio of humans discovers the ship and the story develops from that point. There is the navy which has lost an experimental weapon and there are characters intent on only wealth, power or love. If one f ...more
Dragan Nanic
The very first book I ever read in English. It was a thrill regardless of actual content :)
Bernadette Clark
In all honestly the jury is still out on this one. I thoroughly enjoyed the scenes with the human characters, however the science fiction parts just didn't grip me! Most of the description was just to much for my brain to comprehend and just went over my head. I couldn't imagine in my mind the scenes and going back and fro between the two different styles of writing was starting to irritate me. I decided to keep reading this book, mainly to see what happened at the end. It didn't make me want to ...more
Nothing much interesting happened in this book. I liked the premise: an alien civilization is preparing to drop a "seed" of some sort on Earth, using the planet as a preserve for certain species, one of which is a superior strain of Human. However, this book reads more like a biography, with every major character thinking a whole lot about their past without it impacting the story line much, if at all. I was bored, and would have stopped reading if it weren't for the fact that I was waiting for ...more
I'm a big fan of Arthur C. Clarke's work. This book, however, just seemed to take much longer to develop than I am used to with his writings. At the beginning there are what seems to be 6 different story lines all running in parallel and not having anything to do with each other. So, really it was like have 6 slow stories at the beginning. Once the story lines started progressing and they started interacting with each other, the book really picked up and was very enjoyable...but it's just that b ...more
Steve Gietz
So good, I read it twice :)
Fred D
Interesting book about a first encounter with an alien race, taking place in the near future. I enjoyed Clark's description of human technology meant to depict how technology will be 10 or 20 years out. I think he was reasonably accurate. One problem for me with this book was that there was way too much extraneous character development that had nothing to do with the plot. I kept asking, "where is he going with this? What does this have to do with anything?".
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mindbridge (Collector's Edition)
  • Cosm
  • Gold: The Final Science Fiction Collection
  • Moonseed (NASA Trilogy, #3)
  • Maelstrom (Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime, Book 2)
  • Dave Barry's Guide to Life (Contains: "Dave Barry's Guide to Marriage and/or Sex" / "Babies and Other Hazards of Sex" / "Stay Fit and Healthy Until You're Dead" / "Claw Your Way to the Top")
  • Venus
  • The Years Of The City
  • Starborne
  • Second Variety and Other Classic Stories (The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick #3)
  • Tangents
  • The Golden Gizmo
Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
More about Arthur C. Clarke...
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1) Childhood's End 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2) The Fountains of Paradise

Share This Book